Fake Gemstones And Gemstone Beads Labeled As Real On Ebay

Just lately I have been learning an awful lot about the influx of fake gemstones and gemstone beads on ebay, which are labelled as genuine. I have also been a victim of this myself which is why I have been finding out as much as I can on the subject.

Advice on the internet is not to buy from China, India, or Thailand, but this is a little unfair as I have received some really nice genuine gemstones and real gemstone beads from both China and India, and also fake ones too.

Gemstones can be faked and accentuated in many ways and it should always be clear to the buyer what has been done to the stones. Some have been dyed, or stabilized, and some have even been completely invented! There is nothing wrong with dyed stones just that it should be clear to the customer. I have bought some lovely dyed pieces of agate before from India, these were clearly marked as dyed so I knew when I bought them, and that is how it should be!

A good way to tell of your seemingly natural gemstones have been dyed is to use a small bit of nail varnish remover on the back of the stone, wipe it over with a cloth, or drop a bead into a cap filled with the liquid. Any dye will quickly come out.

I recently bought some Lapis Lazuli beads from China, I could see as soon as I got the that they had been dyed, as the string that they were on was bright blue too. I wanted natural lapis and not dyed so I removed all of the dye from the beads with acetone. It took a day of soaking them but all of the dye did come out and actually the beads look much nicer and shinier for it.

Another thing that can happen is that the beads can be completely man made. Things like malachite are quite often man made and hard to tell unless you do some experiments.

Mostly the fake beads will feel like real stone when you tap them on your teeth, this is very clever and I do not know how the fakers manage it. The best thing to do is smash a bead open and take a good look. Some of the fake beads are simply glass (look at the fracture lines) whilst others will be resin or re-constituted gemstones. (powdered gemstones mixed with resin) A good way to tell if a bead is resin or plastic is to get it with some tweezers and burn it with a lighter. The plastic and resin beads will bubble and sometimes catch on fire.

Other things to look out for are gemstones that do not exist and are merely colored glass, stuff like 'opalite' and various bright hues of quartz that simply do not exist. Citrine is another thing to look out for, most citrine on the market is actually amethyst that has been heat treated. If it is bright yellow with white it is definitely heated amethyst.

I received more gemstones through the post from ebay today, and all of these were untreated and real beads and stones. This lot was from China and I am really happy with what I bought. If you do your research and be ultra picky you can still buy with confidence from gemstone sellers abroad on ebay.

On another note I tested some of the amethyst nuggets bought from a shop in UK, expensive, and they were fake! They were dyed pieces of glass which just goes to show...

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